So often we think of financial literacy in terms of dollars and cents – how smart money decisions can help us financially, or how much poor money decisions can cost us. And while that’s very true, we often fail to think of the bigger picture and the other ways in which our money habits and behaviours can impact us. With Wednesday being Bell Let’s Talk Day in Canada, a day to recognize and discuss the importance of mental health, we thought it would be an opportune time to discuss other ways that money can affect us, other than just in our bank accounts.
We’re obviously huge advocates of financial literacy, and we truly believe learning about how to manage one’s finances is a hugely important life skill that isn’t given enough importance or attention. Learning about money isn’t just about knowing how to save more or invest smarter however – it’s also about equipping people with the knowledge so that money doesn’t become a constant stress in people’s lives, and a detriment to their mental health.
Worrying about how you’re going to make your next mortgage or car payment, or receiving overdue bill notices in the mail, can cause a huge amount of anxiety and stress. Living that way can become all consuming, and cause people to become afraid to answer their own phone in fear it might be a collection agency asking about when payment is coming, or make them reluctant to open their mail just to ignore the reality of how far overdue their bills are. That’s not a healthy way to live, and it’s easy to see how that could affect someone’s mental well-being.
Some of the benefits of teaching kids about money are obvious, but there are many more that we often fail to think about or realize, but are just as important. Helping kids develop good money habits and understand money better, can impact their mental health and quality of life in a positive way for years to come. The next time you sit down to teach your kids about money, we want you to remember and think about how helping them develop good money habits isn’t just about helping them be more financially comfortable in their futures, but also about helping them avoid unnecessary stress, worry and anxiety, and helping them to be happier and healthier in life in general.